Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shopping the Clearance Rack...at the Grocery Store?

I like to spend money. Shopping is fun for me. Any kind of shopping - kid stuff, clothes, home decor, even groceries.

If you have money, usually it's fun to spend it and there's minimal guilt involved, but what about if you don't have much money?

We're a one-income household of three people (Me, my husband, and our toddler son). My husband is still in school (he graduates December 2014!!) so that cuts down on the hours he works. We are incredibly fortunate to have loving families who have helped us out in creative ways since our son was unexpectedly born, and we profit from several investments, but we still love to spend frugally.

Let's go back to my opening statement: I like to spend money. In order to shop like I want, I have to be creative. I have to find deals. It's so easy to find awesome deals where I live because it's a large town with many stores vying for my loyalty. One store has grabbed it (mostly) ... Kroger!

Kroger Marketplace to be exact. It's like Walmart, only with more organic choices and waaaay less sketchy people. A lot of Krogers are basic grocery stores, but the Marketplace has more. 

We love them for the selection as well as their Kroger Rewards Card that saves on almost every item in store, as well as their fuel points that can save you up to $1 off per gallon, and most recently their Kroger App that gives you even more deals and is linked up with your Kroger rewards card. 

After shopping with them for a few months, they started sending us coupons for things they know we frequently buy. I've received coupons for our favorite chips and bread, make up, baby items like wipes, and even $9 of free frozen food , or $3 off your entire purchase. 

Today at KM, I made my usual check-ins at two different clearance racks they have positioned in the places no one ever goes in the store. Funny how stores hide their best deals from us (I totally understand why - my husband is an Entrepreneurship major). 

The first is non-food clearance. Over the last 6 months, I have found a ridiculously cheap Bumbo seat that I bought for a friend and was reimbursed for, as well as a really cute infant travel system (car seat, base, and stroller) for 1/2 price ($79 for the set) that I kept for myself. The infant seat we're saving for future babes but Roman is using the stroller right now. The Bumbo had torn cardboard on the package and the travel system had been used as a model and I guess the box had been thrown away so it was being sold for cheap.

The second section is food clearance. This area is the motherload of scratch-and-dent and overstock deals! It's located in the middle of the ziplock baggie aisle, where naturally very few people shop on-the-regular. 


There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these items. Most of them have damaged packaging or the store purchased more than they could stock and sell at full price. I love being the grateful recipient of a deal at the hand of human error.
  • Clorox wipes: $1.39 (was $2.69 - torn paper label)
  • Pineapples: $0.79 (was $1.50 - dented can)
  • Chef Boyardee: $0.49 (was $1.00 - dented cans)
  • Mixed Veggies: $0.29 (was $0.49 -dented can)
  • Green Giant green beans: $0.49 (was $1.00 - dented can and torn label)
  • Garnier Fructis conditioner: $1.29 (was $2.50 - overstock)
  • Nestle milk chocolate chips: $1.79 (was $3.49 - overstock)
  • Slim Fast protein shakes: $2.49 (was $4.99 - limited edition they are no longer putting on the shelf)
  • Ziplock bags: There was a random coupon just laying on the shelf for BOGO free

I know a lot of shoppers do this anyway, but some of the young adults may not have known it was an option. I don't buy things I don't need. I just stock up on things I didn't know I would be able to get that week. 

So...Go forth. 

Get a Kroger card. It's so easy to keep up with because it hangs on your key chain and most of us need keys to get there and haul home all of our stash. 

Check out the clearance aisle.

 Don't fear the scratch-and-dent. Your food (which you will soon crush up with your teeth) is perfectly intact within that damaged exterior. 

Most importantly - save money! It feels good to spend extra time in the grocery store (by myself) so I can get that shopping fix, while knowing I'm saving tons. 

If all of this hasn't sold you, maybe this last tidbit will:

See that fine print? $441.71 saved in 2014.
How are you saving?

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